FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
|In the Matter of a Complaint by||FINAL DECISION|
|against||Docket #FIC 1998-147|
|Committee of the Whole, City Council, City of Groton; City Council, City of Groton; and City of Groton|
|Respondents||September 9, 1998|
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on July 22, 1998 at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.
After consideration of the entire record, the following facts are found and conclusions of law are reached:
1. The respondents are public agencies within the meaning of §1-18a(1), G.S.
2. By letter of complaint dated May 15, 1998 and filed on May 19, 1998, the complainant appealed to the Commission alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act by discussing him in executive session and excluding him from such executive session discussion.
3. It is found that the complainant is a police officer with the city of Groton (city) police department.
4. It is found that by letter dated April 22, 1998, counsel for the city notified the complainant that the complainants promotion would be discussed by the respondents at a meeting to be held on April 27, 1998. The April 22, 1998 letter further indicated, in relevant part:
I wish to iterate to you that personnel matters may be brought before the council in executive session. However, you, as the individual whose personnel and promotion would be discussed, would have the right to have this matter heard in open session .Please if you could, advise either myself or the Mayors office of your desire either to have this heard in executive session or in a public forum. If the matter is heard in executive session, the council does have the right to have no one other than the council present or to allow you, the Chief or myself to be present.
5. It is found that the complainant received the April 22, 1998 letter and responded to counsel for the respondents by letter dated April 27, 1998. In his April 27, 1998 response, the complainant requested that his promotion be discussed in executive session, and indicated I would prefer to be present during the executive session to observe the proceedings.
6. It is found that on April 27, 1998, the respondent committee met and discussed the complainants promotion in executive session however, the respondent committee did not invite the complainant to attend the executive session.
7. Section 1-18a(6)(A), G.S., provides that:
"Executive sessions" means a meeting of a public agency at which the public is excluded for one or more of the following purposes: (A) Discussion concerning the appointment, employment, performance, evaluation, health or dismissal of a public officer or employee, provided that such individual may require that discussion be held at an open meeting.
8. It is found that the respondent committee provided the complainant with adequate notice of the April 27, 1998 discussion about his promotion.
9. It is also found that the complainant exercised his right to have the promotion discussion in executive session rather than requiring that such discussion be held at an open meeting, within the meaning of §1-18a(6)(A).
10. It is concluded that nothing in §1-18a(6)(A), G.S., required that the respondent committee permit the complainant to attend the April 27, 1998 executive session at which the complainant was discussed.
11. Further, §1-21g(a), G.S., provides in relevant part:
At an executive session of a public agency, attendance shall be limited to members of said body and persons invited by said body to present testimony or opinion pertinent to matters before said body ..
12. It is therefore, concluded that the respondent committee did not violate §§1- 18a(6)(A), and 1-21g(a), G.S., when it discussed the complainants promotion in the April 27, 1998 executive session and did not invite the complainant to attend such executive session.
The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:
1. The complaint is hereby dismissed.
Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of September 9, 1998.
_________________________ Doris V. Luetjen Acting Clerk of the Commission
PURSUANT TO SECTION 4-180(c), G.S., THE FOLLOWING ARE THE NAMES OF EACH PARTY AND THE MOST RECENT MAILING ADDRESS, PROVIDED TO THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION, OF THE PARTIES OR THEIR AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE.
THE PARTIES TO THIS CONTESTED CASE ARE:
Keith Turgeon c/o Atty. Leslie Scoville CILU/CIPU 36B Kreiger Lane - POB 938 Glastonbury, CT 06033
Committee of the Whole, City Council, City of Groton; City Council, City of Groton; and City of Groton c/o Atty. Peter S. Gianacoplos 100 Fort Hill Rd. - POB 942 Groton, CT. 06340-0942
__________________________ Doris V. Luetjen Acting Clerk of the Commission